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The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

Having  lived in the Pacific Northwest the vast majority of my life, reading this book I realized just how ignorant I am about its history. Timothy Egan takes you on a grand tour of the region, using characters you have likely never heard of. That’s just one element of Egan’s magical gift.

I have read 5 Egan books in the last ten days – have one on the shelf and another in my cart on-line. That’ll mean I’ve read ALL of Egan’s books in two weeks. I read approximately 100 books a year. I have for decades. I have NEVER read consecutive volumes of one author’s books – one after another – until I ran into Egan.

Reading Egan is an adventure – a particularly satisfying and unique one. I have few favorite authors. Egan is now in my top 3. PERIOD. His work is just than damn good…better than good…it’s hard to put into words my appreciation for this man’s literary talent. A MASTER storyteller.

LOVED this book. BUY IT! – – – NOW!

Warning: After you read The Good Rain – you’ll be hooked on Timothy Egan…trust me…

 


 

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

You can taste the gritty dirt in your mouth – and – I caught myself rubbing my eyes – as Timothy Egan spun this true tale of the history of the Dust Bowl.

Couldn’t put it down…a page burner. Burns your soul too.

Buy it! Read it! Grab a large glass of water as you will also become thirsty just reading this magnificent literary marvel.

Wear goggles and a dust mask…

Typical Egan – – – SPECTACULAR!!!

Nitro Circus – Motorcycle and Bicycle Aerial Exhibition

Took two 11 year old boys to Nitro Circus in Bend, Oregon the evening of 9/15/2017. Very difficult lighting for photographers – But – I captured some you might enjoy.

Click the image below to go to the Photo Album then navigate to the next image by the arrow on the right side of the image on your screen – or – go to Slide Show. These athletes were 60 feet in the air!!!

 

Nitro Circus

 


 

 

Enjoy! We did!

The Central Oregon Apoc-Eclipse of 2017

Here are my thoughts following the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse that visited the Central Oregon region this past weekend.

 

This writing was published as a Letter to the Editor in the Redmond Spokesman on Wednesday 9/30/2017 and the Bend Bulletin on Sunday September 3, 2017 (common ownership of the two newspapers)…

Well, it’s over. The path of totality crossed the skies of Central Oregon.
 

A Redmond church had a sign out front that welcomed all to “Come worship with us Sunday at 10 am.” This sign was behind two large white barricades and some cones that blocked the ​two ​entrances to the parking lot with a sign attached that stated boldly “NO ECLIPSE PARKING!” Redmond had signs in front of the dog park in the Spud Bowl declaring “No Camping.” Yet, cheezy signs for the Redmond Brewfest were prominently displayed at the Highway 97 entrances to Redmond during eclipse weekend.

Local governments ​ and  their departments ​and personnel ​frantically prepared for the onslaught in the weeks prior to the eclipse. Public officials made statements that the “estimates” for the influx of eclipse observers into Central Oregon could be between 300,000 and 3 million visitors. Stores and restaurants stocked up accordingly. Gas lines and shortages were touted ​ (they never happened)​. Public safety agencies staffed up. Garbage collection companies advanced their schedules for garbage pick-up in Redmond anticipating traffic clogged roads on Monday. Redmond City Hall was locked on Monday with some staff inside carrying out their duties. Many companies and public agencies either closed or recommended clients/customers arrange their schedules to avoid Monday.

What happened? Well, the hype played out as just that…hype. ​Now we have overstocked stores and restaurants. The anticipated Armageddon with the estimated human migration to Central Oregon simply didn’t happen. The fear factor that spurred much of the advance preparation was just that…fear.

I wonder what the ​actual ​cost ​s incurred in the Tri-County area and major cities will come in at ​for all ​this defensive preparation? ​Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from this non-event in Central ​O​regon. Here are a few that come to mind:

1. Predicting an influx of visitors for a major once-in-a-lifetime event is a difficult task. However, the source of the estimates and the process used to derive the same need to be re-evaluated.

 

2. Central Oregon has a cultural history ​of succumbing to hysteria and speculation. This is particularly true for the estimated economic impacts…particularly perceived, prospective positive ones.

 

3. The fear factor that served to guide local governments to prepare defensively is understandable – and laudable. Public safety requires the same. However, this preparation could also have been infused with some creative, offensive, positive outreach to create a vastly more welcoming environment for visitors to our region.
Perhaps our local elected officials might pause and reconsider what we can lean from the Apoc-Eclipse of 2017, share those with the public, and become more measured, and even-keeled in their preparation for the next major event that will descend upon the region.

 

My fear is we won’t learn some of the important lessons the shadow of the 2017 Eclipse has left us with. Such is fear. My hope is we might embrace a learning opportunity here, that will benefit all concerned in the future. Such is hope – the antithesis of fear.

 

This writing was published as a Letter to the Editor in the Redmond Spokesman on Wednesday 9/30/2017 and the Bend Bulletin on Sunday September 3, 2017 (common ownership of the two newspapers)…

 

Bill Dahl
Redmond, Oregon

Lasso The Wind by Timothy Egan – A Review by Bill Dahl

I have a longstanding personal discipline when it comes to selecting books to read; every 5th book or so –  I require myself to read something published approximately 10+ years ago.  Thus, I encountered author Timothy Egan for the first time. Tonight, I just ordered three more of his books (I started my second Egan work last night)…

Lasso The Wind

I was absolutely – blown away – pardon the unintentional poor pun – by Lasso the Wind…I could NOT put it down. Spellbinding, literary talent beyond you wildest imagination, research to warp your mind, fantastic story-teller, unparalleled non-fiction and a contributor to American history the likes of which I have never encountered. Needless to say, I am now addicted to Egan’s work!

I typically read somewhere between 60-100 books a year. As of August 2017, Lasso The Wind is my unequivocal year to date favorite.

The way Egan weaves his storytelling and his research is – well – it’s simply unique and deeply engaging for the reader. JUST BUY THIS BOOK!!!

The history of the American West is widely and deeply inhabited by fictional myth. Egan eviscerates that B.S. in a way that leads one not only to a new, better informed understanding – but – leaves you inspired to continue to be curious about common understandings of history – and to examine the notion of “progress” that continues to lead humans to do unthinkable things to one another – and the planet we inhabit.

An absolute treasure…Trust me!!! Expect to read into the wee hours of the morning…I did. A book – and an ARTIST (author) for a broad audience. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

Flathead River Fly Fishing

This photo album contains images I captured on our July 2017 float trip fly fishing the middle fork of the Flathead River. Our guide was Chris from Glacier Anglers near the West Glacier N.P. entrance.

We floated 12 miles of the river in one full day and were mesmerized by the angry and hungry Cutthroat trout (barbless hooks and catch and release ONLY),  Mountain goats as well!!!

A fantastic day in Montana!!!

CLICK ON The IMAGE BELOW to go to the photo album.

 

Flathead River - Middle Fork


 

ENJOY!!!